Ideas to help cope with being away from home

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Living away from home can be intimidating. Leaving friends, family and loved ones is never easy.

Going from New Jersey to California last summer, my whole world seemed to change. I was suddenly over 2,000 miles away, in a different time zone, and living with people I had previously only met through Instagram. I no longer had the comforts of my normal surroundings, as I now lived in a bustling city – a city that differed greatly from my suburban hometown.

Over time, however, I learned to deal with my homesickness; and I’ve now started to see Berkeley as my second home too. Although it took me nearly two semesters to adjust to living independently and being on my own, I found a few tricks that helped me through some of the toughest times in my first semester. Hopefully, these methods that helped me adapt will also work for you!

Decorate your room with photos of your favorite memories

Print photos of your favorite memories from home at your local CVS or Walgreens. Decorating your bedroom with pictures of your friends and family can help you feel closer to home whenever you start to miss them!

Use Zoom and FaceTime

Group FaceTime and Zoom calls are great ways to stay in touch with friends and family! Virtually connect with loved ones at game nights, movie nights and more. Swap schedules with your friends to find the times that work best for you, and like a typical college student, send a Google Calendar invite to schedule calls so you can all reconnect!

Join organizations on campus

Make the most of your time at UC Berkeley and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the many student organizations on campus! Join clubs and organizations that match your interests to help you find your home away from home.

In a school as large as ours, it can feel overwhelming to navigate its many offerings and form new friendships. However, joining campus organizations can definitely help you find a community you’ll love!

Familiarize yourself with the unknown

Leave your dorm! Take the time to explore the campus and its surroundings. Downtown Berkeley and San Francisco are only a few bus rides or BART stops from campus. From numerous restaurants to countless fun activities, both have a lot to offer. Getting familiar with where you will call home for the next few years will only help you feel that way!

Enjoy your alone time

It’s totally OK to have time alone! You don’t always have to be with others. In addition, it is important to take time for yourself. Use your time alone to recover and reconnect with yourself, whether that means reading a book, watching a movie, or anything else you desire!

Contact Ishwari Nagnur at [email protected]

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